Mike Mackenzie, the SNP candidate for Argyll and Bute in the recent 2010 General Election – and who, in a typically thoughtful and active campaign, put 27.5% on his party’s vote in its fourth place finish, is in the lists for selection to represent his party in the Scottish Election 2011.
In addition to his performance in the Westminster campaign, Mike Mackenzie knows his party’s grass roots in the constituency very well. He has been, for the past five years, its Constituency Association Organiser and Vice Convenor.
During this period and with the work he did in these roles and on the ground campaigning, the SNP took Argyll in the Scottish Elections of 2007. There, Jim Mather – the most effective representative in any sphere that Argyll has had – was elected to represent the area, defeating sitting tenant, George Lyon of the Liberal Democrats.
While the majority of 815 would not have been discouraging, it is telling that Mr Lyon did not feel that there was much point in hanging around to try to get his party back into a positin to represent Argyll at Holyrood. He secured the Lib Dem party’s backing to be its certain nomination to the European Parliament in the last Euro Elections and, while it won only one seat, that was all Mr Lyon needed and he is now in Brussels.
In his dedicated groundwork for his party and in his campaign as its Westminster candidate, Mike Mackenzie has an understanding of both his party and its reception by the wider electorate.
In the run up to that campaign, Mr Mackenzie and Councillor Gary Mulvaney wrote a series of articles for us, setting out their thinking on a set of common topics we asked them to address. We completed the series with a profile of each man. Here is the link to the profile on Mike Mackenzie which has his six position statements linked from it. (Remember that while some of these are general issues, some relate to issues reserved to Westminster, since this exercise was part of the our contribution to the context of the 2010 General Election.)
We understand that the candidates Mr Mackenzie will face in a tough selection contest to be the SNP’s candidate to represent Argyll and Bute in the 2010 Scottish Elections are: Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Michael Russell,; Councillor John Semple; and Mary Mackay.